I really enjoyed it! Instead of going into the specific flaws or attributes of a particular horse he talked about how to look at the whole picture and understand what a horse's strengths and weaknesses may be. He also went through some different types and talked about some famous horses and why their conformation supported their ability to compete at the highest level and stay sound. Overall, I thought it was really great and wish it lasted longer than an hour!
John Madden gave a great presentation. Here's a guy at the top of the sport, and he takes time to conduct an hour long webinar for us. He was refreshing in his observations and quite candid. He likes an intelligent eye, broad forehead, large nostrils and well shaped jowls. He likes a 'workmanlike' head, not the current trend for a more dishy-araby head. He talked about the need to look at a horses proportions and overall appearance before becoming critical of faults. He stressed the need for a big muscular hindquarter including muscular gaskins. It was interesting how much he stressed a well developed barrel (no wasp waste for him), because the stomach/barrel muscles are what allow a horse to collect. He also had pictures of many world class horses (including Hickstead) showing some interesting faults in their legs - and he reminded us that Hickstead was at the top of the sport for years and did not die as a result of problems with his legs. He suggested always looking at a horse's feet from behind to see if the heels are the same height. He also looks at the length from point of hip to point of butt in relation to the stifle and leg. He had lots more to offer.
Not only a great refresher, but how fun to learn some new things from the best! Thanks, John Madden.
Sylvan Farm~Breeding for Performance Ramzes SF, approved GOV and Belgian http://sylvanfarm.com
USEF National ID and Horse Recording Task Force; USHJA Jumper Breeding Ad Hoc Committee